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Word from Tom

Please bring this topic to the discussion list. This talk page is not a good way to have a discussion. I see some of your arguments and I'd like you to listen to those of the GMs as well as have some other players thoughts. There should be a way to make everyone happy. --Tom 12:07, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Full Modern English Translation Required

Look, this is the last time I will ask: Please immediately provide a full, plain, modern English translation for all of this public material. Period. Despite what Reston claims, we have asked IC for translations of some of this, and translation has been refused. This is not acceptable. We asked Tom for additional clarification on this point today, his answer was this: "We need to get it into his head that we LOVE the additional atmosphere a period language adds. BUT the game must still be accessible to people without an english major." --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 17:45, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I am the player behind Haruka Vanimedle, the founder of the religion, we will not refuse to provide a translation of the sign post, we did however refuse to translate our titles, or the specific terms Sigrun used in a letter, should the Sanguis Astroism priest ask directly for a translation of the sign post, we will give one, but he has not, perhaps this will be addressed in the future. I also would like to point out it does not decrease the accessibility for anyone, unless you count actually having to put the effort into the game to ask us to find out, and if it ever where to come down to a case of "Change it completely, or loose it" I am sure it is obvious which one we would pick, if we cannot Roleplay it how we like, and have some arbitrary figure telling us what we can or cannot do, a figure not even directly related to the religion or Roleplays, then there would be no point in doing it at all.
We will give translations to whomever asks directly, and if that is the only problem if we weren't to, then there is no problem with us using Old English. RestonVanim 23:00, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
It is ok to leave proper names as they are, place names, titles, etc. qualify for that. After all, nobody asks for a translation of "London", though titles such as King or Pope are generally translated, there are titles that are not. However, for texts of any lengths, old english falls in the same category as swedish, hungarian or any other non-english language: It excludes those from playing that particular part of the game who do not speak that language. So any text whose understanding is in any way important to participate in playing should be available in english. That doesn't mean you have to change a thing - I am quite confident that you don't think in old english, but translate your "new english" thoughts. --Tom 11:56, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I'd love to read how you put it for it to sound so awfully mean and exclusive. -Chénier 05:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to have call bs there;
Letter from Hroskell Grungir
Message sent to Message sent to everyone in the region Torrents Breath (25 recipients)
Storm Legate, is it possible for you to translate the words you use that I do not understand, and also your other titles and that of the Mistress Of Torture? I am interested in Hredmonath for many reasons, knowledge being the first and foremost wish. Mistress Of Torture Haruka, Sanguis Astroism wants to know for the sake of knowledge, we do not act unnecessarily and we are not looking for an excuse against you or your people. If you would allow it, I would like to speak with you in person about your faith, and hopefully I can dispel your mistrust in me.
Hroskell Grungir ((Priest of Sanguis Astroism))
Letter from Sigrun Lurdigala
Message sent to Message sent to everyone in the region Torrents Breath (25 recipients)
Priest, you may not realise it, but you have already grievously insulted I and the Tyrant Mistress, though, as you come from a lesser and foreign culture, I shall forgive you for your ignorance. In Thulsoma, when you address a superior, or in fact anyone of rank and station, you address them directly by their full titleage and then announce yourself, if you are to even begin to seek an audience with her majesty you must bare this in mind at all times, our culture is one deeply embedded on respect and honour. Also, for the words I did not translate, they are done for a specific reason, they would loose a great deal of their significance if I where to mutilate them in translation, the same can be said for our titles.
Sigrun Lurdigala (Godþrymm Beorncyning and Storm Legate, Chieftain At Arms of Thulsoma)
He clearly asked for a translation and was clearly refused. Considering you replied to messages in the region during the same turn I would think it is safe to assume you received these as well. --Athins 05:53, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I find it odd that you post this message but not the messages that follow that show him in conversation with Haruka Vanimedle. Also it might be splitting hairs but the sign post was not was specifically asked to be translated here. I will attest to the fact that Sanguis Astroism is getting their questions answered. --Doddjh 08:13 10 August 2010
You are missing the point. RestonVanim says they are not excluding because they will give a translation to anyone who asks. It was asked, and the translation was refused. Yes our questions are being answered, that is not the point, I only mean to point out Reston is already not keeping to his word. (Edit: Opps, guess I'm going to have to start reading the d-list mails again) --Athins 17:33, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I read those messages when I made my last statement, if you look at the context Hroskell asked for specific translations to the words he used in a message, and his title, Sigrun refused both. But, we will translate things such as the sign posts, and I have already began providing SA/Hroskell with translations of various terms, but if we where to translate the rulers titles It would completely ruin the point of having them, they are made from translation but then mean something in and of themselves not related to a translation. As the roleplays progress with Hroskell more and more translation will be provided, but there are just some words that completely defeat the point if we where to translate. Also, for the D list, I shall have to try and find out how to join it before I can take part in any discussion there. 18:44, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Discussion List --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 18:51, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


If you want to provide an old English version for RP flavor, that's fine. However, you must provide a modern English version. All text in the game must be in English. The players need to be able to understand what's going on. --IndirikTranslations (talk), Editor (talk) 13:26, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Of course I will, but only to those that ask it, everyone in Thulsoma I have already sent a modern English translation to, but for foreigners I've made a point of telling them to ask IC to a Priest or something for a translation, not getting one OOC. As it suits Thulsoma perfectly to be all clandestine and use Old English as a pseudo holy language. -- Reston.
I don't think you understood Rob's point: it is not an option. All text in the game must be in English. This is a rule as old as the game itself.--Bannable 20:41, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Bannable is correct. If you want to be all secretive, then form a secret society. Or, keep the text out of the public eye. But if you are going to post text in a public manner that anyone can see it, then you must post it in plain English, and understandable by everyone. That doesn't mean that you have to give away all your secrets. If you want it to be secret, then control the dissemination of that information. But not with archaic/non-English language or cipher-text.
To make sure that I was understanding the policy correctly, I discussed the matter with Tom today, and received the following reply: "It is not a game rule, however it follows directly from the social contract - if you play a game with friends, would you speak in a language some of them can't understand?" and "I don't mind it for titles. Heck, I don't mind it for anything - as long as it adds flavour and doesn't exclude other players. A translation added at the end would solve the issue."
So, anywhere you post your old English for RP flavour, please also post a plain English translation. I will be updating the Rules and Policies page soon with this policy. --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 20:59, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Tom already knows I am using old English, as I mentioned it to him in an email when I asked him to fix the accent problem we had. And as I said, we provide translations to whomever asks, it's an entirely RP device for the realm, we aren't excluding anyone for the sake of it, but rather it's in the RP nature of Thulsoma.
Anyone who wants a translation, its preferable that they ask us IC, for RP reasons. --RestonVanim 21:25, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you are allowed to use it, especially for RP flavor in titles. However, anywhere you put it, you must provide a plain English translation. Posting public messages not in English is exclusionary. Like I said: If you don't want people to know it, then don't post it. Please provide a plain English translation of your text wherever you post in a non-plain-English location. --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 15:31, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
If I ran a game and needed to transmit a message that only some people would understand, yes, I'd occasionally speak foreign languages with friends (some of them understanding and the others not). I don't see how it's worse than just hiding the contents and not revealing anything, people who *really* want to know can use easily-accessible internet resources (google translate...). Hell, back in the days church used to be in latin, with not so many people understanding so much of it. It's perfectly legit for someone, especially a church, to use obscure languages. Hell, the GMs do it too. Sometimes, people just don't need to know everything right away. -Chénier 05:03, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, the church used latin mostly because among the clergy it was the lingua franca, the language every monk in every country would understand. They used latin so they would not have to translate things, they used latin because it allowed an english monk to communicate with an italian priest. (yes, also to exclude the common folk, but that was mostly a nice side-effect) --Tom 12:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Using non-English languages IG/IC is not allowed. What RL churches did or not do is irrelevant. (Besides, churches used Latin and other arcane languages specifically to be exclusionary, and preserve their role as the exclusive conduit to god.) (Also, GM characters are, as usual, exceptions to the standard rules.) --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 15:31, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
Says you. Tom says differently, he says that this isn't a rule, that it derives from the social contact. As there are cases where this would be justified when playing with friends, there are cases where it is justifiable in BM. And as you said yourself, the churches used arcane languages specifically to be exclusionary, what do you think this one's doing? Not everything in BM needs to be an open book to everyone, as long as it's done reasonably and in good faith, the mere act of speaking in another language is not a violation of the social contract and therefore isn't against the rules. This is just another example of people over-zealously interpreting messages which aren't in the list of rules as being some severe crime. -Chénier 15:48, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't say much different. It is not a direct rule, but the social contract is. If I were invited to a games evening at your house, and you'd speak some foreign language half the time, I would feel excluded and probably leave. Making me ask for translation every time is not an act of friendship, it puts me into a begging position again and again. I would ask for a translation once and then ask that you please speak in a language I speak as well since we're trying to play this game together.

I do understand where you're coming from. And to be honest, I would be thrilled at a game that simulated language barriers, which we do not experience the way people used to, which made people a lot further apart in those times than today. Not being able to communicate is what makes you a lot more of a stranger than having a different hair or skin colour. But we do not simulate language barriers in BattleMaster. --Tom 12:02, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

"...and doesn't exclude other players. A translation added at the end would solve the issue." I think this is pretty clear: Provide a translation. No one says you have to give away all your secrets. But if you're talking in public, then speak in a language that everyone can understand. If you want to be mysterious, then put in hints about how if you want to know the inner secrets, then ask a priest. If you want to keep secrets, then keep them secret by not posting them in public. No one calims this is a "severe crime". And the resolution is simple, quick, and far from onerous. --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 12:53, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
"If I ran a game and needed to transmit a message that only some people would understand, yes, I'd occasionally speak foreign languages with friends (some of them understanding and the others not). I don't see how it's worse than just hiding the contents and not revealing anything,"
And everyone who didn't speak that language would consider it rude. I almost got into a fist fight with a couple of my friends who were using Spanish to strategize in Monopoly while the rest of us didn't speak it. Its just not good gamesmanship. You are also missing the most important point here;
"as long as it adds flavour and doesn't exclude other players. A translation added at the end would solve the issue."
Tom has already overruled you on the exclusion point and stated that a translation should be added. IMO that is end of argument. --Athins 16:59, 4 August 2010 (UTC)
No, you are missing the point. I argued it was justifiable in *some* cases, not in *all* cases. If I play a Diplomacy game with public negotiations only and decide to deal with someone in another language to set up secret deals, then that's not fair play. However, if I'm a dungeon master in a game of D&D I run, and there's a goblin speaking and it happens that only me and the player of the character who decided to learn to speak goblin know some foreign language, then I'm going to use it to send the message across, since the others aren't meant to understand. There are some reasons to be exclusive, sometimes, and saying "if you want to be secret then just shut up", that's not providing for very interesting developments. If it's just for RP flavour, though, then yes, provide a translation below so all can enjoy. -Chénier 02:11, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
All irrelevant. "House rules" are English. Post in English, or don't post. How hard is this to understand? --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 12:53, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
Indirik, IT IS English, Old English to be precise, and there is a very good reason why I am using it, to be perfectly honest, if a few members not involved in Hredmonath, or Thulsoma object I don't care as it is not for them, and to get translations all you have to do is ask, preferably In Character. There are multiple other realms using languages that are not English, Fronen for example, so I do not see why so many people are complaining about me using original English, as opposed to complaining to those who don't use English at all. RestonVanim 22:59, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
"Old English" != "English. If you know of other realms not using English, then please inform them of the same thing: Plain English should be provided, at least as a footnote translation. It's fine to use other things as flavor text or for RP, but you must provide plain English translations. And I have asked. Repeatedly. I'll ask again: Please provide a full translation, in plain, modern English, in all locations where you use it in public locations. If you want to use it in some private locations, such as on your internal boards, I don't really care. But if you post it in public, provide plain English translations. --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 14:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
The language "rule" is a consequence of the Fair play requirement of the social contract. It's not an inalienable right to be able to understand everything that is published somewhere on BM. This new trend to make a rule for everything is hurting the enjoyability of the game. Rules are there to make sure the game remains fun, not to dictate every little thing everyone does. -Chénier 00:09, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
All players are required to abide by the terms of the Social Contract. If some requirement is a derivative of the Social Contract, then all players are required to conform to it. No one is asking them to reveal any private information, or any secrets of their religion. It's quite simple: Post it in public? Provide it in English. Period. --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 14:11, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
That is your creative interpretation of the social contract, Indirik, that's not what's written in the social contract. I can barely understand a word in that text, but you know what, I've ravished by that. Having everything handed over on a silver plate is not fun. The guy already said he provides translations upon request. And it's not as if old english was some modern language used by an ooc clan to exclude others, it serves its purpose wonderfully. To have a plain english translation below kills all the awe and wounder, and discourages everyone from even bothering to contact the religious people to ask. -Chénier 01:56, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Your failure of reading comprehension isn't my problem. " follows directly from the social contract - if you play a game with friends, would you speak in a language some of them can't understand?" and "... A translation added at the end would solve the issue." --Indirik (talk), Editor (talk) 03:11, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Just to make it quite clear for Mr Reading Comprehension Failure: it's not Indirik's creative interpretation of the Social Contract. It's Tom's creative interpretation of the Social Contract. You remember Tom, right, Dominic? The guy who runs the game, and whose word is absolute law? --Anaris 15:29, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to assume you commented without reading what came above. Because that's typical of you, Timothy. You scan-read the end of a discussion, make gross displays of ignorance and arrogance, and dismiss issues in shallow bases. You do it so regularly, that any kind of reporting or fixing that must go by you takes so much extra unnecessary work that it makes it undesirable (seriously, I don't know how many reports I've done just to have them rejected right away by you without you even asking further details, with merely a rude and completely idiotic comment about how you knew the code and that what I reported wasn't so, just to have someone dig into it deeper weeks or months later and confirming that there was indeed a bug as I had first reported it). If you want to be rude, that's your choice, but have the courtesy of basing it on more than a mere scan-read. To quote him, "Heck, I don't mind it for anything - as long as it adds flavour and doesn't exclude other players." I've argued that with this in mind, foreign languages *can* (do I really need to point out that "can" means POSSIBILITY, as in, it could go one way in a certain case and the other way in the other?) be justified. To ban something in ALL cases because in SOME cases it's douchebaggery is counterproductive. Rolepaying is like art, if you try to control it too much you just snuff it out. BattleMaster has enough decay as it is, stop accelerating its extinction with your ego and authority trips. -Chénier 05:17, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
Since this is causing so much controversy (since, to be frank, everyone seems to be just in the mood for it), I'd suggest just going with a shorter version with a translation for those to be introduced to the religion, with key phrases in words in the conversation of the religion being kept to old English, thus with a far better chance for those with not a clue to get some idea. Kinda like how latin is often used. To be honest I adore the fact you've gone through the effort and actually know Old English. --Aerywyn 07:56, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

And another thing...

Just on another matter, aside from all that above, I do think it's quite impressive that someone actually translated this into Old English --Revan 06:04, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

In Thulsoma we have translated the Hredmonath stuff into Old English, and also our border posts, but not things like the realm summary for obvious reasons. In response to the mass of controversy on this, I'd like to say, the complaints of people not in Thulsoma, or not in the religion have no weight, as it is done for the people in Thulsoma and Hredmonath, though ultimately it does present a very good outer image to "foreigners" and a lot of roleplay opportunities, those quoting the Social Contract as a reason not to do it, are just pedanting as a way to ruin what we are doing here. As Chenier said, it creates a great air of mystique and wonder to outsiders and encourages people to RP or inquire to the religion, and to those of us in Hredmonath, it is like our pseudo holy language, akin to like how Latin used to be in Christianity, which was the main reason for choosing to use old English. Also, as a note in on Thulsoman culture, we speak normal English to foreigners out of courtesy and respect, but when it comes to private things such as our religion, or border posts, we revert to "our language" because it is meant to be by us and understood by us, it isn't there for the sake of "foreigners" and if they want to understand it, they have to ask. Thulsoma has become pretty insualr and introverted like that. RestonVanim 13:58, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
So tell me, what do you do when some new player joins Thulsoma? Someone who doesn't already speak Old English? Do you just tell him, "Learn the language or GTFO"? --Anaris 12:05, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
And, notably, you actually don't have to contact a player in Thulsoma to get a translation. Thulsomans aren't the only ones with interests in Anglo-Saxon. Vellos 16:30, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Gah I hate the idea of some one else translating it, I know what it means, but Old English was notoriously hard to translate so it would be much harder for some one else to get an accurate translation as I had to swap words to ones that mean similar things for it to make sense in Old English. RestonVanim 16:38, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Did you just plug it into an online translator or something? Anglo-Saxon's primary translation barrier is that it is handwritten on really old pieces of paper; not that it is somehow extraordinarily difficult. Indeed, a kindred language, Old Norse, is remarkably easy to translate for anyone who speaks modern Icelandic, and a few other Scandinavian tongues. I'm unaware of any notorious difficulties in translating any of the germanic tongues. Vellos 19:18, 7 August 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean Old Norse runes? Cause if so, thats two major differences. That aside, English is the world's mongrel language. Take the original Germanic, mix it with a bit of celtic, invading Viking, invading French, then throw in our own penchant for stealing and appropriating words from other languages.
"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
--James D. Nicoll
Nope, not old norse runes. Latin script arrives in Iceland by about 1000 AD, and the Sagas were recorded in latin script around that time in Old Norse, forming one of if not the oldest extant literary traditions in the West, given that the rest of the western world didn't start writing much in vernacular languages for several hundred more years. Speakers of modern Icelandic can, with some difficulty, often make sense of the original texts, if they are put in modernized script. I am also well aware of Norse runes, but they do not ultimately form a large literary body, outside of skaldic verse and such things. I'm aware of the propensity in English for new words, and unsure exactly what relevance that has. I'm not saying an English-speaking person can be reasonably expected to read Anglo-Saxon. Merely that other players also have interests in dead languages; like me, for example. I don't read Anglo-Saxon, as the case would be, because my own literary-historical interests are, as indicated, focused more on Iceland (and even that I'm only just beginning). But the point is that there may be other players who can translate it. Moreover, if, as I suspect, it was written using an online translation tool, any player could copy-paste it into such a translation tool, and at least get an IDEA of what it said. And maybe if somebody does read Anglo-Saxon, they could put Thulsoma to shame by ripping them a new one in 1000 lines of original, alliterative verse. Now that would be fun. Vellos 21:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Middle English alone is almost impossible to read for most modern English speakers. That said I love the idea of it being used. --Aerywyn 05:09, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Middle English is hardly impossible to read. Tricky, time-consuming, and requiring of some thought, sure. Next to impossible? No. All you need is a reasonably broad education and a copy of the OED, that most holy of tomes. I assume, by middle English, you are referring to Chaucer's English. Another would be Gawain; I personally love reading Gawain in the original; you lose a lot of the poetry otherwise. Is it difficult? Well, duh. It takes some thought. But easy reading is dull reading. All that out of the way, I personally don't think people should write things in languages they don't understand. If this was written by someone with a broad understanding of Anglo-Saxon and related languages; someone who has done their reading, and can reliably craft something correct and worthwhile, go for it. But it annoys me when people use tourist-Latin, or tourist-Anglo-Saxon, or what have you. I'd love the idea of some people who knew what they were doing working things out; and maybe RestonVanim does know; I personally can only work out a few lines and phrases of it without online translation help, so I can't tell whether it's right or not. I'm all for having cool linguistic diversity in BM; somebody go brush up on their Jacobean English as well and we'll really have some fun. But only if it's well done. But that's just because I'm a snob. Vellos 21:50, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Excuse my hyperbole then. I enjoy reading it, and I enjoy trying to pronounce both Gaelic, Welsh and Anglo-Saxon (incidentally some words and phrases can be just barely understood in modern English, especially if you are trying hard and hear four different Germanics and Scandinavians say "that is good"), but most people find it an incredible headache. Anyway, I was saying that a lot changed between the Anglo-Saxon period and the Norman, so that modern English speakers with no previous familiarity with Old English would after a few minutes of close reading being able to get the words "sum", "ond", and the capitalisation of "God". --Aerywyn 23:18, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Pause for thought

So he can use Anglo Saxon on the Internal Boards ... but not on the External ones that other people who arn't aligned to the culture of Thulsoma can read, otherwise they're being excluded (IC logic of that aside) - that means he might as well have blank boards with just "Hredmonath" written on the external Board in so called 'plain English', with no Translation, Explanation, Detailing or flavour-adding content whatsoever and that would be 'better for the game / player' than having something thats original and intruiging, adding a lot of Roleplay to the game. (The RP game which is now literally RP DEVOID, especially on Dwilight, the role-playing Continent (Irony chuckle Irony)).

Well if thats the 'best compromise', stark nothingness just to stop some minor moanage ... then that's a pretty disappointing ruling.

The Scipii Family 16:52, 7 August 2010 (UTC)